EU engages Dowa politicians-to-be in district mock council meetings

Dan Church Aid (DCA) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) in conjunction with Women Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC) on Tuesday organized a mock council meeting in Dowa District targeting youthful aspiring politicians from various Young Women Action Groups (YWAGs).

The aim of the meeting was to impart knowledge to the aspiring politicians how council meetings are done and also assuring them that everyone is eligible to handle a political position.

Politicians-to-be pose for a photo after the training. Pic by Chris Loka, Nyasa Times.

The meeting was organized under the project called Young Women in Active Politics (YWAP) designed to address the core problem of limited participation of young women in politics and equally in membership and leadership positions of political parties funded by European Union (EU).

Speaking during the meeting Team leader for social sectors at EU Delegation Michele Crimella commended the organizers of the meeting saying the initiative is an eye opener to the participants as they have been able to know the do’s and don’ts in the political sphere.

“You can be interested to take part in the political life, but once you are there, you need to know the rules, you need to know how to make your way into political life. Initiative like these are very important, we all need to learn how to do the job.

“Understanding how the council works makes you to be more effective the moment you are in the situation and that gives you the capacity to bring out the best once you are part of the council, this is a way to go if we really want to have more effective leaders in future,” she said.

However, Crimella said having women in various political positions is very important in the development of a country elsewhere.

In his presentation, monitoring and evaluation officer for Dowa district council, Thamila Gondwe, said there were some critical things that aspiring politicians were supposed to know in advance before they become councillors or Members of Parliament (MPs).

“We want you to have the knowledge on how the council operates, if you are admiring to be a councillor of an MP, you really need to know what is expected of a councillor or an MP to make sure that he or she is properly taking part in issues to do with policy making and development in the district,” he said.

Dan Church Aid and Norwegian Church Aid Senior Programs officer, Wezzie Matsimbe, said they decided to come up with the Mock Council meeting after noting that many women that they are working with are aspiring for local governance leadership.

“We thought it wise that we organize this so that it enlightens them on the roles and responsibilities of a councillor, what it takes to be a councillor, what to do when you are a counsellor and how you are supposed to conduct yourself. That is why we came to groom them,” she said.

Young Women in Active Politics (YWAP) project has so far benefited over 500 young women in Dowa, Ntchisi, Mzimba, Rumphi, Nsanje and Neno districts.

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